Neal Hatley: Bath appoint forwards coach as new head coach

Stuart Hooper and Neal Hatley
Director of rugby Stuart Hooper (left) and new head coach Neal Hatley will see Bath restart the Premiership season in sixth place, five points off a play-off spot

Bath forwards coach Neal Hatley has been named as the club's head coach.

Hatley returned to the Rec after last year's World Cup following three-and-a-half years as England's scrum coach.

The 50-year-old, who had previously in charge of the forwards at Bath from 2012 to 2016, will work under director of rugby Stuart Hooper.

"We're thrilled to confirm Neal as head coach. The director of rugby and head coach set-up has always been the route I want to follow," Hooper said.

"Bringing Neal back into our environment was about reconnecting, finding out how I can complement him, how he can complement me and how we can deliver the best programme here at the club," he told the club website. external-link

Hatley's first match as head coach will be Saturday's match against London Irish at the Rec as the competition restarts following the coronavirus pandemic.

He won England Saxons honours as a prop and played 193 Premiership games for London Irish and Bedford.

Hatley helped England reach last year's World Cup final as well as winning the 2017 Six Nations and enjoying a successful tour of Australia a year earlier.

"With my focus on delivering great performances on the pitch, it allows Stuart to focus on how we want to play and perform, making sure we are doing what we discussed in training and optimising everything we do," Hatley added.

"As head coach, I want to make sure I get the best out of our players and that's a lot about building relationships, knowing they trust your leadership.

"I've set out very clearly how I expect our players to behave, how I expect them to train and how we expect to treat each other."

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